Cooke wrote "You Send Me" but gave the writer credit to his younger brother L.C. (who used the original family spelling "Cook") because he didn't want his own publisher to profit from the song. He had also hoped L.C. would record the song himself. Cooke made a demo recording of the song featuring only his own guitar accompaniment in the winter[clarification needed] of 1955. The first recording of the track was made in New Orleans in December 1956 in the same sessions which produced "Lovable", the first release outside the gospel field for Cooke (credited on that single as Dale Cook). The classic version of "You Send Me" was cut in Los Angeles in June 1957 and was issued as a single with another track from the same session: a version of "Summertime", as the debut release on the Keen label founded by Bob Keane; this release marked the first single credited to "Sam Cooke" (whose true surname was Cook). Although "Summertime" was the intended A-side, disc jockeys favored "You Send Me" which broke nationally that October to reach #1 for a two-week stay in December 1957, with sales estimated at a 1.5 million units. "Overnight, with a single song, Sam Cooke" - who had spent the summer of 1957 living in his producer's apartment - "became a secular superstar, with audiences consisting of black and white, men and women, young and old."
As was common practice in the 1950s when it was unusual for hits in the black R&B market to crossover to the Pop charts, a cover version of "You Send Me" aimed at the Pop charts was cut by the white singer Teresa Brewer and released in October 1957. Symptomatic of the changing music scene, Cooke's original was able to repeat its #1 R&B chart performance in the Pop field, eclipsing Brewer's version. However Brewer's version of "You Send Me" reached as high as #8 representing a strong improvement over her five prior single releases, although "You Send Me" would prove to be Brewer's final Top 20 hit.
Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964. Abkco Records, 2003. Los Angeles, California.
Wolff, Daniel J., S.R. Crain, Clifton White, and G. David Tenenbaum (1995). You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke. William Morrow & Co. ISBN0-688-12403-8.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)